Elevation: 8,345 ft
Climbing and access information for this peak is on Page 69 of the book. Contributor Mike Hays has provided us a more detailed and updated access and route information report, which is set out below. The origin of the name Gospel Peak is set out at the following link: Where Do Mountain Names Come From. USGS Hanover Mountain
Gospel Peak Update by Mike Hays
Gospel Peak is one of the highest points along the Salmon/Clearwater Divide. Along with Pyramid Peak, Gospel Peak anchors the western portion of the Gospel-Hump Wilderness of the Nez Perce National Forest. This primitive area is approximately 206,000 acres and forms part of a 4.3 million-acre wilderness block with the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness and the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. Subalpine glacial lakes abound in this area and many of them support great trout fishing. The area is an easy day trip from Grangeville, ID and provides excellent backcountry hiking and camping. A climb of Gospel Peak can be combined with nearby Pyramid Peak for an easy double-peak day.
You can see three ranges and four states (including Idaho) from Gospel Peak’s summit, including the Wallowa Mountains in Oregon, Bitterroots of Montana, and the Blue Mountains and prairies of southeast Washington. On a clear day, you can see deep into the Payette Mountains to the south and the mountains of the St. Joe River basin to the north.
From US-95, turn east into Grangeville, ID and continue a long mile on Main Street (ID-13) to the east edge of town. The town ends abruptly at the old Forest Service office on the northeast corner of the intersection of ID-13 and the Mount Idaho Grade Road. The Forest Service office is a good place to have a break or obtain maps. From this intersection, travel south (right from downtown) on the Mount Idaho Grade Road. After 0.7 miles, keep to the right (straight) where the main road curves left at the drive-in theater. The road now becomes the Grangeville-Salmon Road. After about 2 miles, the road begins to climb the mountains south of town after crossing the National Forest Boundary.
The road becomes FSR-221 at Fish Creek Campground. Continue on the paved road to the well-marked FSR-444 and turn left onto the gravel road. This turn is just before Mile Marker 30 and is approximately 31 miles south of Grangeville. Go approximately 8 miles on FSR-444 to the Upper Gospel Lake pull-out. Park here or continue up the road for approximately 1/8th mile where there is a pronounced curve to the right and room for 2 or 3 cars to park. You can also drive as far as the ridge (mentioned below) and park there.
From the parking area, hike on gentle terrain through an open subalpine forest until you reach the ridge. Once at the ridge, turn south for an easy 0.5-mile walk to the peak. The walk to the summit is gentle from the north, west, and south. However, around the east side of the peak, there are multiple chutes and cliffs where you can find Class 3 and Class 4 rocks on which to play.
The granite and quartz peak is generally an easy walk-up, but challenging climbs are found in other areas of the mountain. The cliffs north of the peak that form the source of Burnt Creek also have technical rocks. FSR-444 makes this high country easily accessible, but those wanting the whole deal can hike up Slate Creek on FST-313, which leaves the FSR-444 approximately 2 miles east of its junction with FSR-221. Once on this trail, continue south for approximately 3 miles to the base of the peak. Leave the path and head straight up the main ridge west of the peak. The climb from the bottom of Slate Creek to the summit is roughly 3,000 vertical feet.